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They are looked after by the same management company, and their relationships are intimately woven.Thatcher Joe, real name Joe Sugg, who shares a flat with Caspar Lee, is Zoella’s younger brother. Tanya Burr is engaged to Jim Chapman, whose older sisters are behind Pixiwoo.The talent can’t move around that convention without three security guards protecting them from what is essentially a mob.It’s unreal.’ With more Twitter followers than Cara Delevingne and more than 5.4 million subscribers to her You Tube channel, Zoella is a dream ambassador for brands that want to reach young consumers, so it is perhaps no surprise that a business like Gleam exists.To the uninitiated the following names may mean little, but if you want to retain your credibility with the next generation, take note of Tanya Burr, Thatcher Joe, Marcus Butler, Jim Chapman, Caspar Lee, Sprinkle of Glitter, Pointless Blog, the Saccone Jolys and of course Zoella.This little lot are the superstars of British vlogging.
‘I was fascinated by the way the distribution platforms were changing from television and radio networks to social media,’ he says.
But he insists that it is not about making a fast buck and that his team works closely with each artist and only on collaborations that make strategic sense.
‘This is about establishing them in this new medium and giving them the tools and opportunities to achieve a long, illustrious, respected career,’ he says.
‘Our absolute priority is preserving the relationships between them and their audience, because that is much more valuable than any kind of deal,’ Smales says.
‘If a commercial third party approached and offered the world in terms of money, you wouldn’t find many of them would take that deal if it meant damaging their relationship with their viewers. If you talked to any of them they would say the same.’ Along with the money and the screaming fans come downsides, as with any kind of fame.